This is a very popular sweet condiment (side/filling) that’s is usually made with freshly grated coconut, palm sugar and a bit of spices. This is called ‘Pani Pol’ in Singhalese and is used to make several dishes.
Pani – palm treacle
Pol – coconut
Back home we used a treacle made with palm sap (from ‘kithul’ or coconut tree) or used the jaggery (the solid version). When I can’t find any of these I use good quality Maple syrup and brown sugar( for color). I find maple syrup very similar to ‘kithul’ treacle and use it in several recipes like this one.
This slightly sticky, sweet coconut mixture is often used as a filling or served as a side dish with ‘milk rice’ another very traditional dish in Sri Lanka. The most common use is to make coconut rollups or stuffed coconut pancakes.
It is best made with freshly grated coconut. If it is not a possibility, you can use desiccated coconut too. I recommend hydrating the desiccated coconut before using it in the recipe. To hydrate, mix with a bit of warm water or better yet, coconut milk. Use just enough liquid, so that nothing is left when fully absorbed. The hydrated coconut will look similar to freshly grated coconut, fluffy and moist. Then, use this in the recipe.